As dust rolls down the former tower like heavy fumes from a beaker, I watch in dumbfounded shock alongside the crowd. Collective screams and falling debris can be heard in the distance, and although the surrounding civilians are little more than stunned, I have a feeling the hysteria will come to them soon. Unfortunately, I am proven right as a series of indeterminate explosions begin erupting from every direction. I quickly grab Lili underarm and use <Wind Boost> to land on the nearest rooftop, avoiding the frantic rush below. We survey our surroundings from on high to find an entire city in upheaval.
Buildings higher than the tallest trees.
Crowds with more people than a hill of ants.
And colours, sounds and smells more bountiful than the lushest of springs…
“Now that I’m looking carefully, your bones are not actually touching one another. It’s surreal how you’re moving all your joints without muscles, tendons or ligaments.”
“C-could you please hurry it up, Lili? I feel incredibly exposed here.”
“Almost done, Enbos. Hm, well that’s troubling. What do you suppose is the size of your waist?”
“There’s no need to be exact! Just take the width of my pelvis and multiply it by pi.”
“Oh, you mean Sphinx’s number. I suppose that would do. Now, time for your head.”
“Wait, aren’t you doing this for my breastplate? Why are you measuring my skull?”
“It’s for something else, so may you please look down a bit?”
“A-alright, but you better not be buying me a helmet. I don’t plan on changing my class to skeleton knight anytime- Hey!”
“Good lord, how are you able to see? Truly, necromancy is an ominous thing.”
“Can you please stop reaching into my eye socket already? It feels creepy being touched on the inside of your skull…”
The hand strikes six on my internal clock. Another hour passes as I silently read the tome in my hand. Nearby, Hachirou sits in a meditative state, equally as quiet. It has been quite some time since I was led to my quarters and reunited with my anxious companion. We’re currently residing in the “guest room” of the city garrison, which is fully furnished with a double bunker bed, magical torches in lieu of windows, and a reinforced steel door with a view port. They even had the “consideration” to post a Holy Knight outside the room. but in all seriousness, I can hardly tell the difference between this place and an isolation ward. The walls are magically enchanted, and I doubt they would let me out if I asked. Of course, with the ever-present risk of surveillance, Hachirou and I are fully clothed, and all my forbidden items are still hidden within my stomach.
With nothing better to do, I’m now using the opportunity to finally read Lili’s tome, skipping most of the basics to study advanced techniques. My eyes figuratively narrow on the subheading of the current page. Continue reading
It did not take long for the atmosphere to take a turn for the worse. Although it is quiet enough to hear a pin drop, Maximillian’s aura has flared into an overwhelming torrent of hostility. His expression is unchanged and yet the look in his eyes is a thousand times more chilling. It feels as if a thin veneer of civility and Lili’s presence are the only thing stopping him from snapping my arm like a twig and taking the core by force. Nonetheless, I continue to face him like an unflinching sentinel.
I-I did it. After a month of hard work and writing during lunch breaks, I finally released my milestone chapter. I wanted to prepare something special like a pilot chapter, but forget about it. I’m happy enough to release it as it is… although I had to end it on another damned cliffhanger. Sigh, I guess old habits die hard.
Regardless, I want to take this moment to thank everybody reading this, for sticking through with my story and encouraging me for all this time. I also want to thank those who are NOT reading this, those who stopped along the way, specifically during the second arc. Their criticism, and yours, really helped shape important points in the third arc. I do not know how many of you will be left at the end of this long journey, but that doesn’t matter. I am happy knowing that at some point I managed to entertain (or chop onions near you), and that is what makes writing Enbos’ adventure all worth it.
“S-st Telis Cathedral… What’s the meaning of this, Maximillian?”